Well, Hartlepool, there’s good news and there’s bad news

After the best part of a week tipping glasses of sherry into our open throats in a bid to keep reality in the mist for a few days more, The Spoiler has finally awoken to an apocalyptic landscape where snow won’t defrost, and Chelsea are now the third best football team in London.

Or London’s third worst Premier League side, depending on whether you’re a “half full” or “half empty” type.

As seems to be the way, let’s start with the bad news.

Former Arsenal man Ray Parlour – the human equivalent of a jellied eel – has been the first to throw his hat into the ring and declare Chelsea now OUT of the title race.

He said these chilling words to talkSPORT:

“I can’t now see them challenging for the title. For me it’s between Manchester United, Manchester City and Arsenal.”

Plus, after a run of six matches without a win, even goalkeeper Cech has confessed that the side is struggling to find the right balance, scientifically speaking, and may have problems challenging for the top spot.